Mughlai Chicken or Chicken Rezala – Chicken in Onion Almond Saffron Sauce

Chicken simmered in onion-almond paste and flavored up with saffron, so rich and amazingly delicious…

Mughlai cuisine is one of my favorite cuisines: the mesmerizing aroma, the tantalizing flavors and the exquisite dishes, it’s irresistible and I go wild. Most of the North Indian dishes fall into this category, Mughlai cuisine is influenced by the Persian cuisine. The flavors used in this cuisine are delicate, rich and exotic.

I’d tried a few Mughlai dishes in my kitchen, each time I make those dishes I stand still inhaling the aroma that spreads out while cooking those dishes. One of the ingredients that’s found in most of the Mughlai dishes is saffron. This one ingredient is enough to make the dish taste rich. Along with saffron, cashew nut paste, almond paste, poppy seed paste are also added to make it creamy and delicious.

This is an absolutely delicious Mughlai chicken curry, I am going to warn you that you are going to be a slave of this dish, it’s that delish!

Flowers from my graden

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Recipe adopted from Vahchef

Preparation Pictures

making-mughlai chickenmaking mughlai chicken

Mughlai Chicken or Chicken Rezala - Chicken in Onion Almond Saffron Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Curry
Cuisine: Mughlai
Serves: 5 People
For Marinating chicken
  • Chicken, bone-in- 7 pieces
  • Ginger-garlic paste- ½ tbsp
  • Ground black or white pepper- ½ tsp
  • Salt- a few pinches
To grind
  • Almonds, blanched and chopped- 3 tbsp
  • Poppy seeds, soaked in water- ½ tbsp
For cooking
  • Ghee- 2 tbsp
  • Cardamom, whole- 2
  • Cloves, whole- 2
  • Cinnamon, whole- 2 inch slice
  • Bay leaves- 2
  • Onion, paste- of 1 large onion
  • Ginger-garlic paste- ½ tbsp
  • Ground black or white pepper-1/4 tsp
  • Green chili, chopped- 1
  • Yogurt or curd- 1 cup (non-sour)
  • Garam masala- ½ tsp
  • Saffron- 2 pinches, soaked in ½ tbsp water
For seasoning
  • Ghee- 1 tbsp
  • Whole dry red chili- 2
  • Onion, cut into wedges- 1 small onion
  1. In a large bowl, combine chicken along with ginger-garlic paste, ground pepper and salt, marinate for an hour.
  2. Soak ½ tbsp poppy seeds in 3 tbsp water for a few minutes, drain water.
  3. In a blender, grind poppy seeds and almonds along with very little water to a smooth paste, Keep aside.
  4. In a blender, grind 1 large onion to a smooth paste.
  5. Place a large pan over medium heat, add ghee.
  6. Add whole cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves to ghee, saute till aromatic for 3 minutes.
  7. Add the onion paste, and a few pinches of salt, saute for a few minutes.
  8. Add ginger-garlic paste, saute till the raw smell of onion/ginger-garlic paste goes away.
  9. Add green chilies and ground pepper, combine well.
  10. Add the ground almond/poppy seed paste, cook for a few minutes.
  11. Add the marinated chicken, combine well.
  12. Add yogurt, combine well.
  13. Add some water and cook covered over medium-low flame till the chicken has cooked well.
  14. Open the lid, sprinkle garam masala over the curry, combine well.
  15. Taste and add salt or ground pepper if needed.
  16. Soak saffron in water, let it stand for 3 minutes. Add saffron to the chicken curry.
  17. Cook till the gravy has thickened.
  18. Heat a small frying pan, add ghee.
  19. Add dry red chili, saute for a minute.
  20. Add onion wedges, sprinkle a little salt, saute till onion turns light golden brown in color.
  21. Add this to the chicken curry, combine well.
  22. Remove from the flame and Keep covered for sometime.
  23. Serve this delicious Mughlai chicken with paratha, naan, basmati rice etc.


Thas is the author of Cooking with Thas, a popular food blog with recipes from Indian, American and Fusion Cuisines. She has been blogging since 2009 and been featured in several magazines. Read more...

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